Andy lay on his bed staring at the ceiling. Waiting anxiously. It was a scorching hot day and he was naked except for a pair of jeans cut down to skimpy shorts. Sweat soaked from his torso to the sheet beneath him. Cold sweat. The sweat of fear.
Any moment now his dad would return from the farm for his lunch. Then Andy would face the consequences.
He told himself he hadn’t meant to do it. Things just got out of hand. A row with his mother about college; words were exchanged. He cussed her out. If he could do it all again he would have played it better. But words once said could not be unsaid.
He closed his eyes tight and brushed away the mosquitoes. He heard the sound of the front door closing. His father was home. Soon his mother would recount the events of the morning, then all hell would let loose
Moments later came the call. “Andrew!” it was his dad. He knew it was bad, his dad only called him “Andrew” when he was mad. “Andrew, come in here now!”
Without hesitation, Andy climbed from his bed and headed out the door. He knew better than to keep his dad waiting.
It was no surprise to see his dad standing in the dining room, a wide, thick leather belt doubled up in his right hand. The belt was rarely used for its intended purpose; it spent most of its life in a dark cupboard, only seeing the light on days like this.
A dining room chair had been placed in the centre of the room, confirming to Andy the inevitable.
“Your mother has told me what you said to her,” his dad waved the belt threateningly at his son.
Andy stood motionless, expecting his father to say more. But, that was all. His father did not ask for explanation, nor mitigation. Nor, did he detail Andy’s crimes. The boy knew what he had done. There was no point in stringing this out. His dad wanted his lunch and to be back on the farm; he didn’t have time to waste on this.
“Get yourself over,” he pointed at the straight-backed wooden chair with his belt.
“But, dad,” Andy didn’t know what had come over him. You didn’t argue with dad. You just didn’t.
“But dad, I’m too old for this, I’m an adult.”
It was the wrong thing to say. His dad’s sunburned face turned a deep shade of puce.
“You are not an adult. You are an adult when you behave like an adult. You do not do your chores, you cuss your mother. And, now you’re telling us you’re quitting college. That is not the behaviour of an adult. That is the behaviour of a brattish kid. And, you are going to get a whopping a brat like you deserves. Bend over that chair.”
His dad was an imposing man. He had been a farmer all his life. Not only did he have strength, he had presence too. When he told his farm hands to “jump”, they merely asked, “how high?”
Meekly, Andy turned on his heels and walked to the chair. Without pausing he reached over the back and grabbed hold of its wooden seat; one hand on either side.
His dad fiddled with the belt trebling it up so he had a leather strap about twelve inches long; the perfect length to crash into his son’s backside and cause maximum pain. Satisfied with his handiwork he stood close to Andy’s right side. The boy’s jeans were cut so short they barely covered his stretched buttocks; but they were still big enough to accommodate two large thick patch pockets.
“This is no good, stand up.” Genuinely puzzled, the boy lifted himself up and turned to face his dad.
“Those jeans are too thick. Take them down.”
Astonished, Andy mouthed a silent, “But..”
“Take the shorts down. Right now. This instance.”
Andy could not dare disobey such a command. Without looking, he undid the button on the waist of his shorts, unzipped, and let them sail to his feet. Only then did his dad realise his son was not wearing underpants.
Andy stood embarrassed in front of his dad, his nakedness confirming that indeed he was a young man and not a boy.
Unabashed, his dad ordered him back over the chair. Back in position, Andy was now naked from his neck to his ankles. It had been three or four years since he had last presented his bottom to his dad for punishment; but this was the first time it was with his shorts at his feet.
Dad had been a farmer all his life and was a strong man; he could, and he would, lay on a thrashing with incredible force. Andy’s buttocks involuntarily clenched in anticipation of the first lash.
“Keep still. Relax,” his dad ordered as he patted his cold strap across Andy’s already hot buttocks. Sweat was pouring from the boy: a combination of the scorching heat and the fear of the imminent thrashing.
SPLAT! The belt crashed across the centre of both buttocks, leaving a sunset stripe a couple of inches wide. By the time the third stroke hit home bruises were already forming at the edges of the strap marks.
In the kitchen, his mother stopped preparing lunch. Once she had reported the boy’s behaviour, she knew this would be the inevitable consequence. Good. Andrew deserved everything he was getting. And more. The brat.
Andy took twelve strokes as stoically as he could. The pain was awesome, it was the worst belt whipping he had ever had to endure from his dad and there had been a few of them over the years. He wanted to yell out each time the strap cut into his meaty bared backside, but he was determined not to give his old man the satisfaction of seeing how much he had hurt him.
As the ninth and tenth whacks cut him, drawing blood, he bit his tongue hard to stifle the wail that would have echoed around the room before travelling the distance to the barn where the farm hands were having lunch.
“Stand up.” Dad’s tone had not softened. He had thrashed Andrew; his son deserved it, but dad would not know if it had been effective until he was sure the boy’s behaviour would improve. No more cutting chores, no more disrespecting his mother. And, no more nonsense about leaving college.
Unsteadily, Andy rose from the chair; a spasm rippled the length of his body. Still completely naked he clenched his fingers into fists, stretched his arms down the side of his body and hopped from one foot to the other, all in a futile attempt to relieve the agony that had started in his fleshy globes and now moved down his thighs.
“Get dressed,” it was another curt command from his dad. Andy bent forward to retrieve his shorts. He winced as the hard denim brushed against his throbbing cheeks.
“Now, I want to see a definite improvement in your attitude, do you understand me?”
Andy blinked back the tears that were forming; he desperately did not want to let his dad see him cry. He nodded his assent.
“Good, because if I have to do this again, I’m going to get one of the farm hands to cut some birch twigs and we’ll see how much you like that.”
It wasn’t a question, but Andy felt he had to say something in reply. All he could think of was to mumble, “Sorry.”
“Yes, and so you should be sorry. Now, go to your room. There’s no lunch for you.”
Back in his bedroom, Andy ripped down his shorts to inspect the damage to his buttocks in the mirror. His dad had done a good job, God knows, Andy thought, he had had enough practice. The cheeks were raw from the top near his spine, across the globes, to the crease where they met the thighs. Dark blue bruises had already formed across most of his bum, and he knew from experience, they would get worse before they got better.
He pulled a tissue from a box near his bed and wiped away a few drops of blood that was seeping from the wounds.
Gingerly he sat on the bed. It didn’t increase the pain too much. When his dad left to go back to work he would go to the kitchen and get some antiseptic cream from the first-aid box.
Until then he lay on his stomach, reliving in his mind the events of the day, safe in the knowledge that he would do his chores, never cuss his mother again and he would be at college when classes resumed on Monday.
Other father and son stories you might like
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second